Obituary: John Del Santo, former Ashland publisher, KPA President in 1996

John Del Santo

John W. Del Santo, 77, of Catlettsburg, passed away peacefully Saturday, December 10, 2022 at the Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland, KY with his wife of 46 years, Betsy DelSanto by his side.

John was born February 10, 1945 in Middletown, NY, the son of the late William V. and Bette Miracle DelSanto. He attended Middletown schools and Orange County Community College. He served his country honorably with the United States Army from 1962 to 1965. After military service, he joined the Times Herald Record in Middletown, NY as an apprentice pressman where he advanced to foreman, then trained in composing, classified sales, accounting, circulation and advanced to assistant to the publisher. In 1975, he was named assistant general manager of the Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, PA. When the Ottaway Company purchased the Ashland Daily Independent in April 1979, John was transferred to Ashland, Kentucky in October and named general manager under Bob McCullough. When Bob stepped down in February 1985, John succeeded as President and Publisher where he remained until his retirement in 1998. He was active in the community and served on several boards including Ashland Community Hospice. After retirement, he enjoyed working on his “Kentucky” farm in Boyd County.

In addition to his parents and step father Frank Johnson, he was preceded in death by his daughter Cindy Stephenson in 2017, a grandson Justin Wishart in 2014, two brothers Carl Wickham and Danny Wickham, three sisters Judy DeWitt, Jean Roe and Joan DelSanto (Ruth) his beloved grandmother Adelaide Miracle, in-laws Hank and Marjie Ranich, Jake Mills, his favorite uncle Albert DelSanto (Carol) and his brother-in-law Bill Gerlach.

John is survived by his wife Betsy of Catlettsburg, a daughter Greta Crank (Chris), two grandchildren Aaron Crank and Abbie Crank, all of Grayson, KY, two granddaughters Tonya Wishart Ward and Ella Rose Detzauer, a great grandson Kayden Cole Babcock all of Wurtsboro, NY, his sister-in-law Lori Gerlach, two brothers Frank Johnson (Kathy) of PA, Tom Johnson of Monticello, NY, two sisters Betsy Treutline (John) of Deer Park, NY, Angela Enright (Jim) of Livingston Manor, NY, his best and lifelong friend Len Henry (Kathy), his beloved dog “Oreo” and his cat “Henry”, several nieces, nephews, cousins as well as many good friends and neighbors.

Donations may be made to Grassland Community Church, 17839 Bear Creek Road, Catlettsburg, KY 41129 or Ashland Animal Rescue Fund (AARF), P.O. Box 2061, Ashland, KY 41105.

Per John’s wishes, services will be held privately at the convenience of the family.

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